Paisley brings flag-waving brand of Southern comfort to a Centrium, Thursday

It seemed like a Duck Dynasty evening from the get-go. With songs about moonshine, NASCAR and fishin’ holes, U.S. country music star Brad Paisley brought his popular, flag-waving brand of Southern comfort to a northern arena on Thursday night.

Country rocker Brad Paisley and his band mates took to the stage at the Centrium in Red Deer entertaining an appreciative crowd Thursday.

It seemed like a Duck Dynasty evening from the get-go.

With songs about moonshine, NASCAR and fishin’ holes, U.S. country music star Brad Paisley brought his popular, flag-waving brand of Southern comfort to a northern arena on Thursday night.

And nearly 7,000 fervent fans packed Red Deer’s Centrium to hear the Grammy-winning hit-maker sing about a simpler, more rural and less politically correct way of life.

“Who’s ready for huntin’ season?” Paisley shouted out like a cowboy-hatted Elmer Fudd, before trucking out his Camouflage song about the multiple uses of military fabric.

His rhetorical question got a cheering response from the all-ages crowd that came from across Alberta and parts of Saskatchewan to listen to his music and two-step in the aisles.

Paisley went on to croon his latest Moonshine in the Trunk single as a vintage Camaro and its chrome pistons were prominently showcased on a large video screen behind him.

Ticks, a tune about good old-fashioned lust, was up next: “Every time you take a sip … I wish I was your beer,” sang Paisley, who also performed a playful rant against sissies, I’m Still a Guy, and This is Country Music, about saying what you think, regardless of whether it’s in fashion.

All these southern stereotypes might have been a bit much if Paisley wasn’t so gosh darned tongue-in-cheek about his redneck ways.

After regaling us with Red Deer jokes, Paisley discovered Edmonton and Calgary fans in the audience, too. After the Calgarians got booed, the singer asked which city Albertans hate the most? The answer was a no-brainer — Toronto.

“You’re just like Americans. You don’t like other people,” he joked.

Later, Paisley discovered a woman from Sweden in the crowd. He quipped, “What are you doing here? Haven’t you noticed they don’t like Toronto people here? What are they going to do to you if they find out you’re from Sweden?”

Anyone listening carefully to his lyrics would know American Saturday Night is actually a celebratory song about the cultural melting pot in the U.S. After all, the tune was performed alongside comic strip images of Captain America and his African American super-hero buddy, the Falcon.

Paisley also sang about the importance of seeing the world outside the U.S. South in Southern Comfort Zone.

Fans who can’t see past his incessant “Dixieland” references probably don’t realize the West Virginian is the son of a teacher, as well as being a former scholarship student who graduated from university with a business administration degree.

Well, you can’t blame the rednecks for claiming them as their own — Paisley harnesses the image so well in humourous songs, such as Mud on the Tires, I’m Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin’ Song) and River Bank (which featured a video of a squirrel on waterskis).

His tunes (I’m Cooler) Online and Celebrity, which came with a video of a large-headed Paisley mascot riding on a wrecking ball in a body stocking, were a hoot.

But his more emotional tunes really resonated with the crowd — including a retired lady from Edmonton, who recently lost her husband and teared up at his rendition of Waitin’ on a Woman, accompanied by a video clip of the late Andy Griffith.

The World, She’s Everything, The Mona Lisa, Then, Perfect Storm and Letter to Me were among the more poignant songs Paisley performed along with his highly talented seven-man band (including Prince Albert, Sask., native Randle Currie on steel guitar).

Somebody’s grandfather might once have called them a “crackerjack band” and would have been right — Paisley included.

Turns out the country singer/songwriter is also a fantastic guitarist, as seen on the big screen when video cameras gave us a close-up of his fancy finger work.

To prevent the concert mood from turning too serious, Paisley put a comic spin on things by serving up his big hit Alcohol as an encore, before thanking the audience and his opening act, Brett Kissel, and exiting stage left.

It turns out the young Alberta performer has long had a Paisley connection. Kissel met the U.S. singer as a teenager and finally made good on Paisley’s promise (he admitted, “I never meant it at the time”) that the Canadian could one day open his concerts.

Kissel drew a huge contingent of friends and relatives to the Centrium, and made a great impression on the audience.

The energetic Flat Lake native opened the evening with his entertaining hits, including 3-2-1 and Started With a Song. He also sang a cover that was tailor-made for him — John Denver’s Thank God I’m a Country Boy.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Child’s play at Westerner Days

Balloons bring out the child in everyone

‘Do Indians have property rights?’ Former Alberta chief’s land dispute in court

STANDOFF, Alta. — A dispute between two families over land on Canada’s… Continue reading

Missing female found near Sundre

Local rancher finds missing female

Buyers turn to letters to snag homes in Canada’s hot real estate markets

TORONTO — Monica Martins and her husband had been looking for a… Continue reading

WATCH: Gazebo groundbreaking in Waskasoo

Fifty per cent of the $100,000 project is funded by a provincial government grant

Second World War Two-era B-29 Superfortress named ‘Fifi’ lands for first-ever Canadian tour

MONTREAL — A rare Second World War-era bomber named “Fifi” has touched… Continue reading

Magnus Cort Nielsen wins Stage 15 of Tour de France

CARCASSONNE, France — Magnus Cort Nielsen of Denmark sprinted away from two… Continue reading

Ryan Reynolds teases ‘Deadpool 2’ extended cut at Comic-Con

SAN DIEGO — Ryan Reynolds has made a triumphant return to San… Continue reading

‘Wonder Woman,’ ‘Aquaman’ and ‘Shazam!” thrill Comic-Con

SAN DIEGO — Warner Bros. brought out all the stops Saturday at… Continue reading

All shell, no shock: Lobster prices strong, season picks up

PORTLAND, Maine — New England’s lobster industry faces big new challenges in… Continue reading

Woman killed in collision near Olds

A woman is dead after a collision west of Olds Saturday afternoon.… Continue reading

Evacuation numbers remain at nearly 1,000 as B.C. wildfires rage on

SUMMERLAND, B.C. — Officials in British Columbia’s Okanagan region hope that fire… Continue reading

Survivors recount deadly Missouri duck boat sinking

BRANSON, Mo. — “Grab the baby!” Those were the last words Tia… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month